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What are some tips to get into the film industry for someone who is still in college?

I am a film major in my 2nd semester of college I want to be a creative director for film. I have little connections and I need some tips for success.

+25 Karma if successful
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Martha’s Answer

Hi Halle, it is great that you are thinking about this early in your college career. I have put two links below that have excellent tips for getting into the film industry.
In addition, don't forget resources close to you, for example:
- the career services center at your college (if the film department is relatively new, they may not have much but it is worth asking) - they may be able to help you find internships to build connections
- the film department or at least your film professors; they. may have personal connections they would be willing to share
- guest speakers, if any - after one visit, they likely would not be willing to recommend you, but may agree to answer emailed questions from you
- look for opportunities on campus or in the surrounding community to direct short films either for volunteer organizations or more polished videos of performing arts groups. This would give you a chance to practice your art and build your portfolio.
- alumni from your college; if they are directors, they may be willing to be interviewed or shadowed; if they are in other roles at a production company or related company, they may be willing to give you tips or introductions
It likely will take a while to build meaningful connections, but this is important to do. Don't underestimate the value of being polite and respectful and following through on whatever you promise to do. My family is active in regional theater and, numerous times, have seen people who demonstrated hard work and professionalism in the ensemble selected become leads in a later productions.
Good luck!

Martha recommends the following next steps:

Indeed.com - https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/finding-a-job/how-to-get-in-the-film-industry
Backstage - https://www.backstage.com/magazine/article/crew-101-first-production-job-70414/
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much Martha! I will look right into those links and try the things you suggested! Halle
Thank you comment icon You're welcome - please let us know if we could help further. Martha Kramer
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JOHN’s Answer

Hello:

Stage32 (stage32.com) - a networking site for entertainment sector of creatives. I would create a profile and interact with people on that platform.
Masterclass.com - various courses for directors.

Also (adds some extras in the article):
https://filmdaily.co/craft/social-media-platforms-for-filmmakers/

Grateful within every path your roads step.

God Bless,

John German
Thank you comment icon Thank you! I will look through those sites! Halle
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Michelle’s Answer

Hello, Halle !

I really admire that you've expressed the readiness to start your filmmaking experience. A director of film is indeed a creative director and I noticed from your tags that you are interested in filmmaking and video as a whole. You can do this now. I wouldn't advise aiming for Hollywood studio connections just yet, be your own connection where you are. Some of your best collaborators will be your fellow film students. Doing a student film or independent film (not a class project) will greatly be helpful and doable for you while you are a student. You will also have to do some student films, so focus on your projects very carefully. You're not going to be able to get Hollywood connections unless you move to Hollywood and interact with the big studios in some way. But that's okay. People are doing film in all fifty states right now and we need filmmakers in various states.

Your first step would be to obtain access to equipment either from your own personal purchasing of it or borrowing it from your film school. Second would then be choosing a script. Place notices for scripts at your college and through the magazine The Writer and read all the scripts and choose one that you like. You can also ask a screenwriter friend to collaborate with you and write a script for you. Than put out casting notices on Actors Access, your local paper's website, at local live theatres and various other actor websites like Backstage and Auditions Free and at university theatre departments. Auditions Free carries many notices outside of Los Angles and NYC. You will take the helm for you own film and cast, creative direct and produce this film while you are still in college.

The first film I ever did was in my senior year in college by a director who got an assignment in his last year in college from a non-Hollywood film company. I responded to his flyer in my theatre department. So you can really get projects while in school, but you should already have some people you can interact with by having the advantage of being a film student.

Once you build a repertoire of your own films and videos, that will be the time to think about professional interactions which will mean NYC or L.A. if that's how you want to take this. Always know that you can work professionally in any state and town you choose, however. It does take time to meet people, but the more film you do, the more people you will meet.

I hope that this advice is something that is helpful and I wish you all the best. Don't give up and always know that your films are special and can be done anywhere, even in your own town !
Thank you comment icon Thank you! I will start on those projects right away! Halle
Thank you comment icon You are very welcome, Halle ! Michelle M.
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Kieran’s Answer

When it comes to film, it's not about what you know, it's about who you know, and what you can do. With that being said, get involved with student productions and other filmmakers in your area. Sometimes, you'll need to fill the shoes of a different role on set. You want to be a creative director, but maybe a classmate is creating a film and needs a script supervisor. Don't discount film projects just because you cannot play the role you want to! If there are no projects around you to get involved in, just start your own and build your own crew. And remember, build the relationships! I've worked on films with people and found what they are proficient in, then invited them on my own projects. Networking with those like-minded to you are super important.

You have to show future employers and production companies what you can do, and the best way to do it is create a reel of the work you've done. Your portfolio is your best friend. I would rather work with someone who didn't study film but had an amazing portfolio and than someone who studied film and doesn't have much of a portfolio. Show people what you can do!

Furthermore, apply to internships related to video/film to practice your technical skills. Try reaching out to wedding videographers in the area to see if you can help shoot, volunteer for video related opportunities, or maybe your school needs a videographer to create sports highlights. Get involved as much as you can.

TLDR; Get involved with student projects. Build your portfolio. Practice your technical skills. You got this!
Thank you comment icon Thank you! I will start on that portfolio Halle
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Jorge’s Answer

During the semester, take the initiative to inquire at your school about any sponsored internships available at large studios or production companies. If there aren't any, take the lead and find some. These internships can contribute towards your degree as extra credits. Alternatively, consider securing a weekend or part-time job at a Film Rental House. This could serve as your stepping stone to studios and a chance to network with key players in your local industry, helping you climb the career ladder.
Thank you comment icon Thank you! I looked into internships near me and there are a few that look promising! Halle
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